How accurately can Parkinson's disease be diagnosed?

Neurology. 1992 Jan;42(1 Suppl 1):6-16; discussion 57-60.


The clinical picture of Parkinson's disease (PD) can be so varied that absolute clinical diagnosis may not always be possible. Several diverse entities (including toxins, pharmacologic agents, and multisystem atrophies and other degenerative diseases) can produce clinical syndromes almost indistinguishable from those of PD. Nevertheless, a sufficient number of guiding criteria--such as the presence of at least two of three motor signs (tremor, bradykinesia, and rigidity), persistence of these signs for several years, and responsiveness to levodopa--may serve to clarify and specify diagnosis, at least until such time as a biologic marker of PD is discovered. However, currently the clinical diagnosis of PD remains difficult.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / complications
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Diseases / complications
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Nervous System / pathology
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics
  • Olivopontocerebellar Atrophies / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis*
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology